At Technicon Acoustics, pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape—also referred to as self-adhesive or self-stick adhesive tape—is one of our key product offerings. It is a type of adhesive tape made from thin, flexible material that, depending on the intended use case, features a single or double-sided adhesive coating activated by pressure. As the tape adheres to a wide range of clean and dry material surfaces without requiring the use of solvents, water, or heat, it serves as a versatile and easy-to-use adhesive solution for customers.
The following blog post provides an overview of PSA tape, outlining its benefits, selection considerations, and application process.
Benefits of Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) Tape
Compared to other types of adhesive tape, PSA tape offers a number of advantages. For example:
- It is considerably thinner and lighter.
- It establishes and maintains excellent adhesive bonds under a wide range of conditions.
- It bonds dissimilar materials.
- It helps dampen vibration and reduce noise.
- It creates uniform thicknesses and fills in gaps between the attached surfaces.
- It eliminates the need for fasteners and surface refinishing, resulting in a more aesthetically appealing finish and shorter time requirements for assembly operations.
How to Choose the Right Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) Tape
Pressure sensitive tapes employ a variety of adhesives with different chemical compositions, each of which offers its own unique advantages. Three of the most common adhesives used in PSA tapes are:
Rubber adhesives are available in natural or synthetic varieties and can incorporate additional compounds to enhance their performance characteristics, such as antioxidants, oils, and tackifying resins. They are a cost-effective adhesive solution that offers quick stick capabilities. However, they are not suitable for use in applications that involve exposure to high heat.
Acrylic adhesives are formulated using acrylic polymers. Unlike rubber adhesives, they can withstand high temperatures and see frequent use in high-heat applications. They also form stronger adhesive bonds and demonstrate higher resistance to solvents and other environmental conditions.
Silicone adhesives consist of silicone polymers. Their unique formulation makes them the only type of adhesive that bonds adequately to silicone-based substrates. Compared to rubber and acrylic, they can withstand higher temperatures. However, they often come with lower initial tack properties and a higher buy-in price.
How to Apply Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) Tape
Although the application of pressure sensitive adhesive tape is relatively easy, there are a few factors to keep in mind to ensure the formation of an adequate adhesive bond. A typical application operation includes the following steps:
1. Preparing the surface of the substrate. The bonding surface should be clean and dry, free from any contaminants that may affect the adhesive bond, such as dust, grease, oil, or lint.
This stage can involve the use of evaporative solvents such as methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) to remove compounds accumulated through prior use or exposure to the elements and/or cleaning products such as isopropyl alcohol, esters, and naphtha-based products.
2. Priming the surface of the substrate. Some projects may require primer application, flame treatment, corona treatments, or pretreatment methods to improve surface energy.
3. Applying the adhesive to the substrate. Depending on the project requirements and restrictions, industry professionals can employ manual or equipment-assisted application methods.